Buying or renting property is exciting but also intimidating, especially for first-timers. As a real estate professional, you’re always thinking about what your clients want, what they need and the challenges they may face. And before you even meet them in person, they will have made assumptions about you and your services from what they find on your website.
When you hire one of the top real estate website designers, you hire somebody who can translate the conversations you have with clients into an unforgettable website design that works. By that, we mean a website that’s at the top of your target market’s searches and connects with exactly the type of clients you’ve built your career serving. Below, we selected the best real estate website designers to hire for your web design.
How to get the best real estate website design
You’re probably familiar with the concept of hiring a freelance web designer. And in most cases, that’s a great way to get a fantastic real estate website. We offer two ways for you to hire a freelance website designer:
- Design contests
- Commissioning designers directly
A concept you might not be as familiar with is design contests. Here’s how they work: you submit a brief describing what you’re looking for in a website. This includes your color palette, the content you want to showcase, your target audience and your specific niche as a real estate professional. Then, designers from around the world enter mockup designs based on your brief. You choose the one you like best, then work with its designer to refine the mockup into the perfect design for your website. With a design contest, you only pay for one website design—the winner you choose.
Design contests are a great way for clients to see a lot of different interpretations of their briefs. If you need ideas and you want help developing your website’s overall look and feel, a design contest is the way to go. Learn more about design contests here. But if you already have a pretty solid idea of what you want and all you need is a designer to put it all together (and maybe make a some great suggestions), you can get to your completed website design a lot faster by working directly with a designer. Search for designers here.
The 10 best real estate website designers to hire in 2022
How did we choose these as the top real estate website designers?
Our top picks are prime spots for web designers, so we had to vet lots of designers very carefully to determine who’d end up on this list. To pick out the top of the top, we looked at:
When a new designer moves into the 99designs community, our in-house team of design experts looks through their portfolio to determine their skill level. When we determine designers’ skill levels, we consider their knowledge of design principles, conceptual thought and technical design execution skills. With these in mind, we assign each designer one of three levels:
- Top level
- Mid level
- Entry level
Every designer’s portfolio page displays their skill level. This way, you can see who’s been a design professional for some time and who’s new to the neighborhood.
Experience with real estate website design
This isn’t a list of our top 10 website designers, it’s a list of our top 10 real estate website designers. And to make the cut, designers had to have strong portfolios full of successful real estate websites they’ve created for previous clients.
You’re a professional and you expect to work with other professionals. When we chose our top 10 real estate website designers, we chose designers who prioritize their clients’ needs and continually meet their expectations. We did this by looking carefully at designers’ track records for responsiveness, communication with clients and ability to use constructive criticism to refine their designs to exactly what their clients commissioned.
What to think about when hiring a real estate website designer
A well-crafted real estate website assures the visitor they’re in good hands. Your clients have very real fears, like getting ripped off, getting into a lease they can’t get out of, finding a burst oil tank on their property long after the deal’s been closed and their only option is a six-figure remediation and having a simple flip turn into a bottomless money pit.
One of your website’s primary jobs is to communicate that you understand these fears and you’ll protect your clients from them.
Another one of its tasks is to promise clients you’ll deliver what they’re looking for. A real estate agent who sells luxury homes in affluent neighborhoods promises comfort and community; a wholesaler whose focus is FHA flippers promises opportunity. Or are you a realtor who wants to make the process as smooth and easy as possible? When you’re in the market for a real estate website designer, think carefully about:
- What you need your website to do
- The style and message you need your website to convey
- Your designer’s skill level
- Whether your designer has experience with your real estate market
Obviously, your website needs to convert. But for you, does that mean booking showings, getting names on a mailing list, scheduling a consultation or setting up a walkthrough? If you’re a home inspector, your goal is to get home buyers to book your service and have you advise them about the houses they’re considering. If you’re a property manager, you need prospective renters to get in touch and come check out apartments.
What you need your website to do extends to what the website literally does—do you need it to dynamically pull listings from a local MLS? Do you want visitors’ first point of contact to be a chatbot that answers the questions you get most frequently?
If you need more than design, like UI design or custom-coded widgets, you have two options: hire a web designer who also has UI design and/or web development experience or hire additional professionals to handle these tasks. In either case, you’ll need to adjust your budget and timeline to make room for these additional website components.
Another consideration to make is the designer’s familiarity with your local market. A realtor in New York City deals with very different clients from a realtor in rural Manitoba and their websites need to reflect this. Although you shouldn’t rule out working with an otherwise great designer who doesn’t have experience with your market (you can always get them up to speed with market data and chats about what your clients are looking for), knowing the trends and challenges your market faces is definitely a plus.
Beyond these real estate industry-specific things to think about when you hire a website designer, there’s the issues to consider any time you work with a web designer: your budget, your timeline for the project, how well the designer’s style meshes with yours and how hands-on you want to be with the process of designing the site.
Are you ready to hire a home-run real estate website designer?
You can hire anyone to create your website but if they’re not a great real estate website designer, you won’t get that attention to detail and understanding of your needs only a professional and experienced designer can provide. If you couldn’t see any of our picks designing your online home, search our platform for a designer who’s a perfect fit!